May 21, 2013

XBMC + Xubuntu 12.10 + VDPAU working flawlessly [Nvidia ION Media Center]

Xubuntu 12.10 is lightweight, stable, and fast. It's Ubuntu with a turbo slapped on. In this post, we'll go over setting up a XBMC media box with Dolby Digital/DTS out and Chrome with adobe flash over HDMI.

With the newest version of XBMC, the installation was smooth. I did not have to configure the sound output for DD over HDMI--the sound worked immediately after installing XBMC. In my previous blog posts, you'll notice the issues I ran into getting sound to work over HDMI. The only challenges I ran into this time around was getting overscan issues corrected and getting Google Chrome to work with Adobe flash hardware acceleration to which a solution was eventually found. Let's give this a go.

My set up:

Zotac Nvidia ION, Atom N330 Dual Core
Xubuntu 12.10 x386
XBMC Camelot Beta 1
Western Digital 150 GB Velociraptor

1. Download Xubuntu 12.10 x386 (I chose 32bit because Flash was more stable for me)
2. Either burn it to disk or create a startup USB:
3. Install Xubuntu and choose login automatically. Then reboot
4. On your HTPC, open up Firefox and go to this blog post
5. Install Nvidia drivers by opening up terminal and copy and paste line by line

Copied from mygeekopinions blog:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

6. Reboot

7. If you have Overscan issues, open terminal and run (more info on nvidia-xconfig):
sudo nvidia-xconfig

This will set up a xorg.conf file located /etc/X11/xorg.conf

For my installation, I used this nvidia-settings to find the right resolution for my TV. You will need to modify this to best fit your TV. (from the pclinuxos forums):

nvidia-settings --assign 0/CurrentMetaMode="DFP-1: 1920x1080 { ViewPortOut=1820x1020+50+30, ViewPortIn=1920x1080 }"

Once you find the optimal settings, do the following to set it permanently:

cd /etc/X11/

sudo apt-get install gedit

sudo gedit xorg.conf

Paste the Option line, in the Section "Screen", between EndSubSection and EndSection

Option "metamodes" "DFP-1: 1920x1080 { ViewPortOut=1820x1020+50+30, ViewPortIn=1920x1080 }"

8. Save & restart

9. Enable VDPAU (from the linuxforums)

sudo apt-get install libvdpau1 vdpau-va-driver

10. Unmute HDMI/spdif

11. Open Firefox and install Flashaid

12. Restart firefox and open Flashaid and choose Adobe Stable 32 from the repo

Under tweaking options, place a checkmark next to Override GPU Validation and Enable Linux HWDecode

Follow the instructions, and once complete, restart Firefox

13. Install XBMC

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc

14. Install Amazon Prime Video addon via HowtoGeek

15. Go to Xubuntu Settings Manager
Then Window Manager Tweaks
Go to the Compositor tab and uncheck Enable display compositing

16. Install Chrome
* Go to: http://about:plugins
* Click on the + Details to expand details
* Disable all versions of flash except for Version:11.2 r202
* Restart Chrome
* Confirm flash hardware acceleration is on by playing a video, right click, and Show Video Info
* Accelerated video rendering, accelerated video decoding should be displayed

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